15th-Ranked Baseball Sweeps LMU With 10-5 Victory

March 3, 2002

MESA, Ariz. -- Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West was 2-for-4 with four RBI and a three-run home run to help lead the 15th-ranked Arizona State baseball team to a series-sweeping 10-5 victory over the Loyola Marymount Lions Sunday afternoon in non-conference college baseball action at Hohokam Stadium.

The Sun Devils led by as much as 7-0 after six innings before the Lions attempted a comeback with all five of their runs in the last three innings. West's three-run home run fueled a five-run third inning that proved to be the deciding difference in the game. The 14-hit Sun Devil attack was keyed by every player that saw action recording at least one hit.

The Devils outscored the Lions 32-9 in the three games, winning by scores of 15-2, 7-2 and 10-5. ASU has now won four of its last five games and improved to 11-5 on the year with the sweep of LMU. The Lions, who have advanced to the NCAA regionals in three of the past four years and were the West Coast Conference Champions in 1998, 1999 and 2000, fell to 5-11 on the season.

Arizona State starting pitcher Bryce Kartler improved to 2-0 on the season with a strong performance in which he scattered four hits and allowed three runs (two earned) in six and a third innings of work. Kartler (Phoenix) started with three hitless innings and allowed only two base hits going into the seventh inning. The junior lefty struck out five and walked four.

LMU starter Nicholas Lovato, who transferred after last season from Cal State Fullerton, took the loss to fall to 0-2 on the year. Lovato was roughed up for five hits and six runs in just two and two-thirds innings of work. A host of LMU relievers gave up nine hits and four runs over the last five and a third innings.

Just like the previous two games in the series, ASU jumped out to the lead first with a single tally in the opening frame. Sophomore second baseman Steve Garrabrants continued his torrid hitting to lead off a game, opening with a single and later came around to score on a single to right field by West to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. Garrabrants is 10-for-15 in 2002 to lead the game off for the Devils.

Sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third, ASU rallied for five runs to take a 6-0 lead. West provided the big blow with a three-run home run for his fourth round-tripper of the year. Junior catcher Dennis Wyrick plated a run with a single through the left side of the infield and the fifth run of the inning scored when Garrabrants drew a bases loaded walk. The Sun Devils added to their lead with another run in the fourth on sharp single to right field by sophomore right fielder Andre Ethier.

The Lions finally broke onto the scoreboard in the top of the seventh with three runs. Second baseman Joe Silva plated the first run of the inning on a double down the left field line to score catcher Joseph Hendricks. Leadoff hitter Billy Lockin followed with a two-run double to cuts ASU's lead to 7-3. LMU threatened to put more on the board, but right-handed reliever Aaron Klusman came in an put out the fire by striking out third baseman Jonathan Oller with the bases loaded.

LMU rallied again in the top of the eighth, scoring a run off of Klusman on a wild pitch, but redshirt freshman Mark Sopko came out of the bullpen and in similar fashion to Klusman the inning before, held off the LMU surge to hold ASU to the 7-4 lead. Sopko appeared to get out of the inning in his first batter faced, but ASU shortstop Sergio Garcia made an error on a would-be 6-4-3 inning-ending double play to load the bases. Sopko remained tough though, and Garcia rebounded from the error by turning a nifty 6-4-3 double play to retire LMU center fielder Sean Smith to end the inning.

The Devils added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Reserve catcher Tuffy Gosewisch led off the eighth with a sharp single through the left side and came around to score on a single by Garrabrants. After Rod Allen plated a run on a groundout, sophomore right fielder Andre Ethier doubled down the right field line to score ASU's 10th run of the game.

Garrabrants capped a big weekend at the plate by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI Sunday vs. LMU. The sophomore hit at a .583 clip in the series (7x12) with five RBI. Ethier notched his ninth multi-hit game of the year by going 2-for-5 with two RBI and continues to lead the Devils in hitting with a .444 (28x63) batting average.

Arizona State will play its first midweek game of the year this Tuesday at 7 p.m. against New Mexico State (9-5) at Hohokam Stadium. The game is the second of three in the month of March where the Chicago Cubs will play an afternoon Cactus League Spring Training game at Hohokam prior to ASU's game. Freshman left-hander Miguel Sanchez (1-0, 1.23) is tentatively scheduled to start on the mound for the Sun Devils. The Devils will then host the Bob Schaefer Memorial Classic (ASU, St. John's, Oklahoma State, UNLV) next weekend at Packard Stadium.

Game Notes: With his single in the first inning, Steve Garrabrants is now 10-for-15 (.667) to lead off the game for the Devils with five singles, four doubles, and a home run... former Sun Devil Dan McKinley (1995-97) threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Sunday's game... McKinley is currently a top prospect in the Montreal Expos organization... LMU head coach Frank Cruz was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes... the Sun Devils and Lions were unable to take batting practice on the field prior to the game due to the Chicago Cubs holding batting practice and infield drills before their Spring Training game with the San Francisco Giants that was played at Scottsdale Stadium... the Cubs beat San Francisco.

Arizona State 10, Loyola Marymount 5 (Mar 03, 2002 at Mesa, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Loyola Marymount.... 000 000 311  -  5  8  0      (5-11)Arizona State....... 105 100 03X  - 10 14  2      (11-5)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Loyola Marymount - Lovato, Cordova(3), Waite(6), Sarver(8), Abreu(8).Arizona State -Kartler, Klusman(7), Sopko(8), Schroyer(9).Win-Kartler(2-0)  Loss-Lovato(0-2)  T-3:35  A-2164HR ASU - West (4).

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